Did you know there’s a field of study devoted to origin, use, and history of proper names? It’s called Onomastics. What’s more, the person who studies it is called an Onomast. The Onomast is into all names — from people and places, to animals, roads, and even chocolates. As you read in yesterday’s post, many names originated as meaningful words for occupations. Joe the Baker became Joe Baker. His son Joe Jr. might have been called Joe Bakerson. The Bakers throughout Europe became Bakker, Bager, Pagar, Boulange, Besitzer, Panettiere, Rzecz, Padeiro, Mierii, Panadero, and Pobydd.
There’s so much more under the large umbrella of Onomastics. In fact, there are many fields of study associated with it.
Did you ever stopped to think anthropologists, archaeologists, and sociologists would study names to learn about human societies, past civilizations, or for evidence of social change? I really never gave it much thought until my husband developed his genealogy hobby. While family genealogy hobbyists hunt down clues to their past, historians study names for evidence of the past such as settlement areas and migration patterns. There’s even a branch of name study called philology that looks to names for clues regarding lost or early languages. Lexicographers also get into names and study them for the words and word meanings that names are comprised of. Who knew geographers combed names for evidence of early landscapes?
Today I’m peeking into the fields of geography and lexicography and talking place names, or more formally, toponyms. I can’t possibly list them all without blowing my blog to smithereens, so this is only a short list. Many show up with prefixes such as Ab, Di, Du, O’, Fitz and others have suffixes such as son, sen, dze and ski. Many surnames have both.
Example: the people who lived by water could take the name Brook, Beck, Brooke, and Rivers. The following are toponyms for four key geographic features:
Arroyo, Hooker, Horne, Beeks, Bach, Bachmeier, Burnes, Beverly, Bachmann, Puro, Head, Ruisseau, Patak, Crawford, Ford, Ewart, Daugherty, Rzecz, Marsh, Sanka, Moeras, Marais, Marécage, Sumpflander, Sands, Sandford, Seymore, DiPalude, Pantano, Acquitrino, Lavlanderson Baader, Lago, Ware, Dalgalar, Walton, Blackburn, Poole, Meer, Newport, Lamar, Eau Claire, Rush, Llyn, Vance, Witmore
Dyffryn, Valle, Vale, Dale, Dolina, Wied, Slėnis, Valatti, Gleann, Glen, Glenn, Ebene, Laakso, Dahl, Craft, Bently, Combs, Coombs, Dean, Harden, Harley, Marsden, Ogden, Stainthorpe, Westley, Summerfield, Winterbottom
Mountains and hilly ground
Fjell, Hora, Bjerg, Brandon, Berg, Berger, Mägi, Vuori, Montagne, Monceau, Montana, Montagna, Monte, Haight, Bray, Hull, Huff, Brent, Hyland, Hill, Radcliffe, Hills, Kulle, Colline, Colina, Wzgórze, Helling, Haug, Heuvel, Attenberg, Cantrell, Downs, Downer, Harlow, Underhill, Salita, Winslow
Forest, woodlands, and fields
Houtman, Ash, Greene, Hollins, Holt, Ashe, Holly, Beasley, Boyce, DuBois, Buckley, Delaney, Fay, Shiel, Forrester, Haywood, Lockewood, Woods, Wood, Hurst, Garland, Gore, Hayward, Hays, Hayland, Rhodes, Roscoe, Selby, Shaw, Stroud, Timberlake, Vernon, Timberlane, Wooton, Woodward, York
That was exhausting. lol And that’s just a drop in the ocean of names. If you’d like to see what your own surname means, try Ancestry.com Your name might be a toponym.
The doors are open! Author E. Ayers is there today. Come see her favorite reviews.
A place for your old stars to shine 😀
Here’s one for today:
Sinapistic (adjective 1879)
consisting of mustard
Hump Day Hook
Horny Hump Day
First Kiss Wednesday
Today we have a guest blog with author Amber Skyze
All through January the RB4U authors are doing interviews. The thoughtful questions are a great way to get to know us. Commenting that day gives you a chance to win a collectable t-shirt. Come see!
Right now the COLD SNOW, HOT ROMANCE CONTEST is on! Three winners will each receive a $25 gift card for Amazon/Barnes & Noble, and split the other prizes randomly picked from prize list. Be sure to check all our pages for news about authors and their books, publishers and their books, and industry representatives. http://www.romancebooks4us.com/
Today is First Kiss Wednesday! Come share your best 300 word kiss.
Several promotional opportunities for romance authors can be found on my Exquisite Quills group blog. Meet the founding authors and our guests.
First Kiss Wednesday ~ share your best 300 word kiss.
Set the Scene in Six ~ share your backdrop or lead-up on Sundays.
The Genesis of a Book ~ share the spark that ignited your novel
Author Interviews ~ We’re booking late spring now.
Love Waits in Unexpected Places – Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories
Sample my love stories for free!